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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Historic Breastworks

July 2, 1863 - Second Day

 
 
Historic Breastworks Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
1. Historic Breastworks Marker
Inscription. "Rude shelters were thrown up of the loose rocks that covered the ground."
Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, U.S.A.
Commander, 20th Maine Volunteers

The increased range and accuracy of Civil War weapons made prolonged exposure to enemy fire extremely dangerous. In response to this, both armies made increasing use of rifle-pits, trenches, and breastworks. By 1864 it could be said that a soldier marched with a rifle-musket in one hand and a shovel in the other.

When the Union infantry of Col. Strong Vincent's brigade rushed to defend this hill on the afternoon of July 2, they quickly threw up crude shelters using stones laying about. The Confederates were on them so quickly there was little time for construction.

That night, in anticipation of renewed fighting on July 3, and to provide cover from Southern sharpshooters, the Federals expanded their breastworks. Confederates across the valley heard the stones dropping into place all night. Remains of these defensive works are visible here today.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 47.471′ N, 77° 14.224′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from Sykes Avenue, on the left when
Historic Breastworks Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brandon Fletcher, June 25, 2009
2. Historic Breastworks Marker
traveling north. Click for map. Located at stop 8, Little Round Top, on the driving tour of Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 12th and 44th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Col. Strong Vincent (a few steps from this marker); 140th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Gen. Strong Vincent (within shouting distance of this marker); Defense of Little Round Top (within shouting distance of this marker); Sixteenth Michigan Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Third Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); "Hold The Ground At All Hazards" (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. On the right side of the marker is a wartime photograph of the works. Union breastworks photographed from near this point three days after the battle by Alexander Gardner. Still visible today are the large rocks shown in the center of the photo.

Here on Little Round Top the soldiers connected boulders already in place with walls made of loose stones to shield themselves from Confederate bullets.

 
Also see . . .
Historic Breastworks Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
3. Historic Breastworks Marker
The marker stands at the base of the 12th and 44th New York Infantry Monument.
 Little Round Top. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Section of Breastworks Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
4. Section of Breastworks
The boulders in the center match some of those seen in the wartime photograph.
More Breastworks Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
5. More Breastworks
Little Round Top is laced with rock breastworks erected by the Federal defenders. It is a testament to those early preservationists in the later parts of the 19th century that these stand today as reminders of the battle.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,159 times since then and 113 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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